Step Up Your Recycling Game!

According to the top four waste management and environmental protection organizations, including the U.S. EPA, these are the Top Ten Items that everyone can (and should!) recycle:

To get a better idea of what is available in your area check out this website.

Which Recycled Items Save Most Energy

  1. Plastic bottles– this is absolutely one of America’s worst offenders. We will purchase over 25 BILLION disposable, one-time use plastic bottles each year. And quite sadly, about 80% of these end up in the garbage, forever. Best practice: stop using plastic bottles. Switch to reusable. Second best practice, please recycle them.
  2. Paper- comprising over 1/3 of the waste collected every year in America, paper comes in at heavy second on the list. By recycling newspapers, magazines, scrap paper, envelopes, etc., you are taking part in saving energy and conserving natural resources.
  3. Cardboard– in connection to the paper family, cardboard is another huge offender in and completely recyclable product that instead gets close to 30 MILLIONS TONS set to the trash. Both households and businesses, small and large, are part of this issue. Make sure that cardboard is on your recycling list.
  4. Computers- the first option when considering recycling a computer or other electronic device is to actually keep its life going. This can be accomplished by selling it or donating it to non-profits or others who have need. Otherwise there are centers that collect (even buy-back) non-working computers and dismantle them into reusable and recyclable parts.
  5. Food- literally every single person eats and almost everyone also generates food waste. Food can be recycled, into actually very high quality product that can be used for a variety of purposes. Many cities across the country now offer food collection services. If your city does not, you can compost your own food waste turning it into rich additives for your soil, or you can bring it to a local community garden’s composting project. 

If you’re interested in recycling your own food waste check out this article.

How Are Recycled Materials Reused

All that wonderful recycling you do pays off by creating new usable items. Producing product this way saves an enormous amount of energy and raw materials that would otherwise have been stripped from natural resources.

Recycled Plastic Becomes:

  • Plastic lumber for park benches
  • Picnic tables
  • Lawn furniture
  • Playground equipment
  • Recycling bins
  • Sleeping bags
  • Carpets
  • Buckets
  • Stadium seats

Recycled Paper Becomes:

  • Building insulation
  • Telephone directories
  • Construction paper
  • Paperboard
  • Kitty litter
  • Sheetrock
  • Countertops
  • Paper plates

Other top 10 recycled items and materials in the U.S. include glass, which is 100% recyclable and substituted for up to 95% of raw materials when producing new glass products. This makes glass a highly friendly material for the environment. And lastly are aluminum and steel cans, which both require almost 95% less energy when making new cans. This in turn lowers the need for mining new aluminum and in the long run helps to preserve the environment.

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